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Posted 2018-04-18 08:23:10  
Invitational Kranji Mile draws 50 nominations

The inaugural Invitational $1.5 million Group 1 Kranji Mile (1600m) on May 26 has attracted a total of 50 horses at the first round of nominations, split two ways between 25 overseas horses hailing from nine countries and 25 local entries from Singapore.


Long staged in early October as the first Leg of the Singapore Triple Crown series, the Kranji Mile is this year being revamped into an Invitational race as a prelude to its eventual upgrading to full international race in 2019.


If the healthy interest from both overseas and local shores, as mirrored by the high quality of nominations received is anything to go by, the stage looks all set for an exciting comeback of international racing in Singapore.


From the international side, the highest number of entries was received from Hong Kong (seven), headed by the winners of the Group 1 Longines Hong Kong Mile (1600m) in the last two years, Beauty Only (2016) for trainer Tony Cruz and Beauty Generation (2017) for trainer John Moore, who took home the Singapore Airlines International Cup (2000m) in the last three years of the former International Group 1 race – Military Attack (2013) and Dan Excel (2014 and 2015).


Beauty Generation also landed the Group 1 Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup over 1400m in February. Other stellar entries from Hong Kong include dual-Group 1 winner Helene Paragon (Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup and Stewards’ Cup, both in 2017), Blizzard and Pingwu Spark.


Great Britain is also well represented with five horses, headed by the Andrew Balding-trained Here Comes When, a Danehill Dancer eight-year-old who captured the Group 1 Qatar Sussex Stakes (1600m) under heavy rain last year.


Weighing in with five nominations as well is Japan, another regular patron of our International races in the past, winning the Singapore Airlines International Cup twice with Cosmo Bulk (2006) and Shadow Gate (2007). Japanese star Just A Way’s trainer Naosuke Sugai has nominated three of them, Grade 1 Victoria Mile (1600m) winner Admire Lead as well as Logi Cry and Shuji.


Ireland has thrown two runners in the mix, including old stalwart and dual-Group 1 winner Gordon Lord Byron. New Zealand also presents a duo, namely Ocean Emperor, a dual-Group 2 winner, including the Japan New Zealand International Trophy (1600m) on March 24, and Ronchi.


Last but not least, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, Germany and Bahrain have named one horse apiece, namely the Mike de Kock-trained Janoobi, a recent winner of the Group 2 Zabeel Mile (1600m) in Dubai, Muntazah who ran second in the Group 1 Godolphin Mile (1600m) in Dubai last month, dual-Group 3 winner Noor Al Hawa and Thorkhill Star respectively.


With 25 entries registered for Singapore, there is every indication the home team is keen to repeat the historical feat achieved by Ouzo in the very first Singapore Airlines International Cup in 2000.


Sharing top billing in the local ratings are Quechua, Infantry and Elite Excalibur, all on 113 points. The first two need little introduction as they both share multiple Group 1 wins between them, including the Group 1 Emirates Singapore Derby (2000m) with Quechua also landing the Group 1 Longines Singapore Gold Cup (2200m) in 2014.


The classy Elite Excalibur recently annexed his first ‘black type’ victory in the Group 3 Committee’s Prize (1600m) and is the clear standout among trainer Cliff Brown’s five nominations.


Besides Quechua, trainer Ricardo Le Grange has also filed in Majestic Moments, up-and-comer Iron Man and a well-credentialled newcomer in Noah From Goa, recently transferred from the de Kock yard and winner of the Group 1 Cape Guineas (1600m) in South Africa.


Other notable names among the local contingent are 2016 Emirates Singapore Derby winner Well Done for trainer David Kok, Group 2 EW Barker Trophy (1400m) and Group 3 Fortune Bowl (1400m) winner Clarton Super for new trainer Tan Kah Soon, the Stephen Gray-trained Group 1 Lion City Cup (1200m) winner Lim’s Cruiser and new Kranji-based trainer Donna Logan’s multiple-Group 1 winner Volkstok’n’barrell. 

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